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Hello, everyone! I just have a quick question about contacting an artist over a commission I made roughly a year and a half ago. Details are under the cut.

I commissioned one of my favorite artists (I'll leave her unnamed for the time being) in September of 2010, when she had just opened commissions and seemed to be very active. I was excited to see what she'd come up with, and had no problem paying her $40 up front. In  the months that followed, her activity slowed and eventually stopped, but I trusted my commission would be worked on.

In January of 2011, I checked in again to see how the commission was coming, and she apologized and said she had had a rough semester, and would be working on it. I could understand, and again, I really did love this artist, so I was willing to wait.

I tried to contact her yet again multiple times by email in August and then September of 2011, after some concerning activity; she had shut down her Livejournal account, and seemed to have also shut down her Tumblr. Unfortunately, this time I received no response, despite numerous emails.

What triggers this question is that she finally shut down her Deviantart recently, which is where I originally commissioned her. This leaves me with no mode of contact,  save for the two email addresses where she never responded back in September.

So here is my question. We exchanged names during the whole Paypal process, so she's aware that I have hers and I know she has mine. She's been active on Facebook as recently as early in December. Would it be stepping across the line to contact her via a Facebook message and ask again about my commission, or is it still within the bounds of courtesy? (I know for certain it's her Facebook account as well, as it links to both the dead LJ and the dead Deviantart accounts.)

Thanks in advance for your help; I'm truly unsure what to do in this situation.

EDIT: All right, I just shot her off a message asking for a new contact email. We'll see how this goes. Thank you all so much for the quick response and awesome advice! I'll post a lost contact later tonight and will consider posting a beware once this whole thing plays out.

SECOND EDIT: Still no result in terms of my message, but thanks to a very helpful tip about Tumblr, I was able to discover that she has indeed changed URLs but is still very active. And commissioning. Yeah, you may well see a beware post here soon.

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Artist's beware has moved!
Do NOT repost your old bewares. They are being archived.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
I'm assuming that the email addresses you tried and received no response to also included her paypal address?

Since it's way outside the paypal dispute window, and there are no alternate avenues of contact like new screennames she may have hopped to, while I'm generally against getting in touch with artists via means they haven't provided to you especially personal ones like social networking sites, it seems that you may have no choice.

Given how long it has been, the lack of contact and how all her pages have been shut down it may also be worth naming the artist via a lost contact or beware.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 10:48 pm (UTC)
In response to the email question, yes. One was the email she listed on Deviantart and other sites, our primary means of contact before she quietly dropped off the face of the earth, and the other was the Paypal address. I'm thinking that since one email was the same as her alias on the various closed sites, and I recall the Paypal was a very old email, she probably has stopped checking these particular email addresses.

That was my thought, too, and why I made the post. It immediately hit me as a bit creepy and stalker-ish, but at the same time, it may be the last avenue I have to attempt to get a commission or at least a partial refund.

I hesitate to do that because of personal feelings, but objectively I probably should. I've lurked here on and off for a few years, but I'm new to the specifics. Would one make a beware even for someone who (to the best of my knowledge) was commissioned by only one person and seems to have withdrawn entirely from the online artistic community?
Jan. 3rd, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
The thing is there very well may be other people out there that were left in the dust. Many things can happen in life, but I find it very poor on the artist's part to just disappear on you. If they had no intention to continue art or whatnot, they could have easily refunded you.

Edit: I should also note that you can simply consider your "outing" of them as a lost contact. If you legitimately do not want to hit them with something like a full on beware, then maybe there might be someone out there who knows if the artist has an email address that they do check.

Edited at 2012-01-03 10:57 pm (UTC)
Jan. 3rd, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC)
That's a very fair point. I would have been willing to accept excuses, but just vanishing is in poor taste. I think I'll draw up a beware after I see how this unfolds. Thank you for your advice!!

additional edit: That seems like an even more awesome idea. I know she went by a few aliases after those I lost contact with, and honestly I do just miss her art and would love to see if she's active anywhere anymore. I'll get that up here sometime later this evening.

Edited at 2012-01-03 11:03 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - fenris_lorsrai - Jan. 3rd, 2012 10:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jan. 3rd, 2012 10:50 pm (UTC)
That is an awesome way of wording that - I think I'll use it. Thank you. I keep feeling awkward about this since I'm almost entirely sure that it's just an oversight, albeit a big one, and I don't want to imply that she's run off with my money deliberately. That's a nice way of approaching her about it without being threatening.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 11:17 pm (UTC)
This is what I would do. And if that doesn't get a reply, maybe ask here if anyone's heard from her or knows a better way to contact her.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
I'd name them, flat out. Without any mode of contact, you cannot either get your art or refund...and I certainly am curious as to who this could be. I hope it gets resolved!
Jan. 3rd, 2012 10:54 pm (UTC)
I may yet. Is it customary to post bewares for artists who, for all intents and purposes, have withdrawn from the artistic community? I don't want to defame her unnecessarily, but at the same time, I don't want anyone to make my same mistake if she starts commissioning again...
Thank you! I hope this will solve it as well.

Edited at 2012-01-03 10:57 pm (UTC)
Jan. 3rd, 2012 11:00 pm (UTC)
And sometimes calling out an artist's name will actually get them to jump up and reply, ultimately resolving the issue.

Especially since you have tried everything else to find her :/ I'd do it if not to just get her attention (not even maliciously), not to ruin her reputation or anything. Hopefully she wouldn't see it like that.
Jan. 4th, 2012 05:38 am (UTC)
I'll get a lost contact posted and see what that does. I don't know if she's been active on LJ, and I don't recall if she followed this comm when she was, but hopefully word will travel fast over the internet.
Jan. 4th, 2012 12:21 pm (UTC)
Contact paypal telling them the artist has not completed their obligations, they'll provide all the contact information listed with their account.

Contact them during the normal hours.
Jan. 4th, 2012 04:36 pm (UTC)
I had no idea Paypal would do this. Thank you. I've managed to track her down on Tumblr now, on a much more active account, so that may prove to be unnecessary, but it's good to know I have another avenue to pursue if this fails.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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